In many ways, you may dismiss pain as a symptom of growing older or something that you have to deal with after a significant injury. When it gets intolerable, though, you hope that your doctor can help.
While your doctor may not have intended harm, they still had an obligation to keep your pain medication within certain limits. When doctors prescribe too much pain medication, especially opioids, there is a risk for addiction and overdose, both of which can lead to injury and death.
Here’s what to watch for when requesting pain medication from your doctor.
The right amount of questions
While it may feel more efficient to see your doctor and leave with a prescription a few moments later, it may not mean you got the correct answer.
Your doctor should take the time to understand how much pain you are in and what is causing it. Even if your doctor is not able to resolve the underlying issue causing your pain, they should understand the level of your pain.
Am I getting too much?
While there are guidelines that help doctors decide how much pain medication is appropriate, there are few firm rules. Even though opioid prescriptions have gone down in recent years, hundreds of people in the US die every year from an opioid overdose.
If you are unsure about the level of your pain medication, consider talking to another physician about your pain and any side-effects you notice. Also, talk to your loved ones about the changes they noticed after your medication change. They may be more perceptive of changes in your mood or behavior.